It's been a while since I've ridden the University route. Almost exactly a year and a half, in fact.
So as I sit here once again, sweating in my bike jacket and listening to "Broadway" (no, not that one, the other one) in my headphones, I put my sunglasses back on and I listen to the buzz of conversation.
It starts slow, and fairly quiet, but not exactly soft. There are only a few riders who get on at the mall, and only the Jr High students make more than a whisper. The powerful diesel powerplant easily out-drone quiet conversation, so as we move ahead (...and wait for one last fare...) toward the first stop the girl in the back raises her tone to a quiet yelp-almost like the tuning of strings before a concert.
By the Bonnie Doon stop there is almost a proper buzz of human Communication. As in the first movements of a concert, one can begin to hear the themes cycling into repetition and variation.
By the time a bus stops at Calgary Trail on Whyte, the buzz has begun to harmonize. Shrill Vietnamese lady, Sportsbike passing; coughing child, gruff chain-smoker's laugh; crying toddler, clicking change.
The symphony reaches crescendo, then fades at the cue of the last stop-bell before the University stop. For a refrain, the air brakes squeal and hiss.